cows in field

Field Days 2020: Hybrid and Virtual NODPA Field Days

Welcome to the 2020 NODPA Field Days

Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director
Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

By Ed Maltby, NODPA Executive Director

This year, for the first time since NODPA was formed, our Field Days and Annual meeting will not be in person. In the interest of our health and safety (and some laws) we have postponed an in-person meeting. I will miss the conversations so important to building friendship, trust and understanding. I will most especially miss the ability to talk directly with producers and to discuss issues so important to the future of organic dairy. These discussions set the future workplan for NODPA. Instead we have decided to hold the meeting on as many different levels as possible for as many producers and their families to participate. We will have a Producer-Only call on Thursday October 29 at 7:00 pm Eastern time; call in number is 800-566-2245 and the participant number is 877845. We can monitor who is on the call. This issue of the NODPA News carries an insert with educational articles, producer panels and a keynote address that we had planned for the in-person meeting. All of the material in the insert plus more interviews with presenters sharing more information can be found on our website ( for those that have access to the web....

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2020 Hybrid/Virtual NODPA Field Days: Thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters

NODPA thanks all of our Sponsors and Supporters who are supporting NODPA’s Field Days Supplement Section in this September NODPA News. Without your support, we would not be able to provide this educational section to our readers, and would not be able to provide web-based NODPA Field Days workshops and articles in place of the in-person NODPA Field Days. Thanks for supporting NODPA and all of our organic dairy farm families.


  • Lakeview Organic Grain


  • Agri-Dynamics
  • Dairy Farmers of America (DFA)
  • The Fertrell Company
  • Maple Hill Creamery
  • NOFA-New York


  • Buffalo Molasses
  • Thorvin
  • Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.

2020 Hybrid/Virtual NODPA Field Days Sponsors and Supporters

The Role of Legumes in Forage Mixtures: Effects on Your Bottom Line

Andre Brito, Veterinarian, M.S., Ph.D.André F. Brito, Veterinarian, M.S., Ph.D., Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems University of New Hampshire, (603) 834-8600

Webinar topics
  • Dietary and management strategies to improve energy intake in forage-based rations
  • Why legumes are important in dairy diets?
  • Effect of different legume-grass mixtures on forage quality
  • Effect of different legume-grass mixtures on feed intake, milk production and composition, and milk fatty profile in dairy cows: Results from two feeding trials conducted at the University of New Hampshire Organic Dairy Research Farm (Lee, NH) will be shared
  • Results from project entitled “Developing advanced perennial legume-grass mixtures harvested as stored feeds to improve herd productivity and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in organic dairies in the Northeast”

The Role of Legumes in Forage Mixtures: PowerPoint Presentation

To follow this presentation's PowerPoint presentation, click on 'Read More', below.

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What are the Long-Term Ramifications of the Coronavirus Pandemic on US Agriculture?

Simon Alexander, DVM
Simon Alexander, DVM

By Keynote Speaker Simon Alexander, DVM, Exeter Veterinary Services, Exeter, Maine

“May you live in interesting times,” was a saying my dad used when I was growing up. When I reminded him of that this past spring, he swears he didn’t mean for it to turn out like 2020.

“Covid-19,” as it’s been named by the powers that be, has been the spark that lit fires all over the world. Regardless of one’s political stance, it’s impossible to deny that we’ve seen more changes in the day to day life of this country over the past six months than we have in the past decade.

Corona viruses are a very common family of viruses; many of you vaccinate against them in your cattle with Scourguard/Guardian or Bovalis. One branch of the corona virus family causes the common cold, another causes calf scours, one maybe causes the old nasty Winter Dysentery, and one started out causing a terrible mysterious pneumonia in the Chinese city of Wuhan sometime before this past January, and spread rapidly from there. That last one is called SARS-COV-2, and it causes the disease known as Covid-19. This is a completely novel corona virus, one that the world has never seen. Some experts see evidence in the genetic code of this virus that it was engineered in a lab, and there are just as many who feel that it was the result of random RNA mutation. Although we may never know the exact origin, we do know how dangerous it can be for some people....

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COVID Check-In with NODPA Members

Henry Perkins and Brian Bawden in a side conversation at NODPA Field Days
Henry Perkins and Brian Bawden in a side conversation at NODPA Field Days

Compiled by Nora Owens, NODPA Field Days Coordinator

I can easily imagine the conversations that would be taking place at the 20th Annual NODPA Field Days if we were all gathered together this year. Alas, we are not, so we asked a wide variety of NODPA members to share their experiences during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. What follows are personal accounts and observations of the past 6 months, and some predictions for the future. Everyone was asked whether they’d like their names to be published or not, so as you will read, an equal balance chose to remain anonymous. My sincerest thanks to everyone that sent in these thoughtful responses; I suspect that this is what we’d all be sharing with one another in the hallway, the parking lot, around dinner, and on our farm tours if we were together.....

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COVID 19: A Letter from Canada by Susan Beal, DVM

Susan Beal, DVM
Susan Beal, DVM

Dr. Susan Beal, DVM, South Central Ontario, Canada and Pennsylvania, sent us a COVID-19 Update from Canada, shedding light on another country’s outlook and manner of coping with the pandemic, as well as sharing her thoughts and observations of what the future may hold for us all.

I returned from traveling state-side in mid-March. I’d been staying at my PA place after traveling through the mid-west, including going to the MOSES meeting. I wasn’t sure where to be. It seemed calm and “safe" in the wilds of west central PA, but the borders were beginning to be closed to other than Canadian citizens and there were other concerns percolating, too.

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Remedy Extension & Administering Homeopathic Remedies

Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Valley Farm
Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Valley Farm

By Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Valley Farm, Homer, NY

Homeopathic remedies can be easily transformed from traditional sugar pills to liquid form. This allows for the purchasing of smaller vials of pills, thereby spending less money; and also for easier administration of the remedy to both animals and people.

There's also evidence that the administration of remedies in liquid form is gentler to the body, easing....

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Administering Homeopathic Remedies-Water Source

Video by Maureen Knapp

Administering Homeopathic Remedies-Vaginal

Video by Maureen Knapp

Administering Homeopathic Remedies-Nose application

Video by Maureen Knapp

Colostrum: The Ultimate Disease Prevention

By Dr. Elizabeth Martens, DVM, Valleywide Veterinary Services, Bridport, VT and Shelburne Veterinary Hospital, Shelburne, VT

In this presentation, I will review why adequate colostrum intake is essential, then will go over an easy, at-home method to find out if a calf is sufficiently protected by its mother's antibodies. We will review the 4 Q's of Colostral Antibody Absorption:

The 4 Q's of Colostral Antibody Absorption
  • Quantity: 10% of calf body weight (88lb. calf = 40kg. = 4 liters of colostrum)

  • Quality: >24% Brix (Brix measures sugars, closely related to IgG concentrations)

  • Quickness: < 6 hours after birth, sooner is better

  • sQueaky Clean: bacteria in colostrum interferes with IgG absorption. (<100,000 CFU bacteria, <10,000 coliforms)

Make Your Own Fresh Cow Protocol

Dr. Dayna Locitzer, Green Mountain Bovine Clinic, West Chesterfield, NH

This presentation will give some tips, tricks, and things to think about when taking care of your fresh cows. Fresh cows are experiencing a lot in terms of their external and internal environment. As a consequence of the enormous biological change of calving, they face mineral imbalances, negative energy balance, unchecked inflammation, potential nerve damage, edema, and stress. This is especially true for pasture-based dairies who don’t have their diets and environments as tightly regulated as conventional cows, even though they often have more space, are not pushed as hard and access to phytonutrients from pasture. Organic dairies also do not have the option of using certain conventional treatments, therefore prevention of the negative consequences of calving are very important.

Creating a Farm First Aid Kit

By Jacki Perkins, MOFGA Dairy Specialist

Having a designated livestock first aid kit in the barn will keep you from using your household thermometer rectally on sick calves, and can save time in a crisis of gaping wound proportions.

It’s important to stay practical and organized when building and maintaining a first aid kit. Include things like a couple thermometers, stethoscope, flashlight, and absorbent/bandage materials such as clean towels or diapers and vet wrap. Keep things categorized. Exam tools, such as flashlights, halters, and thermometers can live in one small container, while wound dressing supplies can be kept in a separate, waterproof home that can be easily accessed or transported in a hurry. I suggest keeping all smaller kits in one larger tote, and in a warm, dry location that is unlikely to encourage people to stack things on it.

Other things that I find handy to a large animal first aid kit include:

Saline Betadine Scrubs Epsom Salt
Electrolytes Molasses Baking Soda
I.V. Tubing Needles Gloves
Sharp Knife Bandage Scissors Tongue Depressors

I also include a small homeopathic first aid kit/commonly used tinctures.

Creating a Farm First Aid Kit may be last on your list, but once you set your mind to having and maintaining it, you’ll thank yourself every year.

Making Herbal Tinctures at Home

Garlic Tincture and a Calendula Tincture

By Liz Bawden, Bawden Family Farm, Hammond, NY, and NODPA Board Co-President

Learn the simple steps to extract medicinal elements from plants using alcohol and olive oil. In the first video, Liz will demonstrate how to make a Garlic tincture and a Calendula tincture. You will need a very clean glass jar for each plant material; fill them each about ¾ full of the plant material, then fill the jar to the top with vodka (80 proof is fine). Top with a layer of wax paper, then put the lid on firmly. The wax paper will create a better seal so that nothing leaks when you shake it. Shake daily for a week or two; store in a cool, dark place. Strain the mixture, discarding the plant material, then water down, by half, the tincture before administering it to any animal. It is easier on the animal to receive twice the volume of a weaker solution. Garlic is an immune system stimulator, and a natural antibiotic. Calendula is also a natural antibiotic, and supportive for skin and internal tissues. Liz prefers to combine both tinctures in the treatment of retained placenta, giving 60 ccs vaginally two times per day for 3-5 days. Use either for a natural antibiotic, for example give a calf with some respiratory illness the garlic tincture to stimulate healing. Using the garlic and calendula tincture together provides a better outcome of either separately.



Plantain weed
Plantain weed

Garlic bulbs
Garlic bulbs